The role of compression therapy in wound care, lymphoedema care and vascular care is undisputed internationally. We have now reached the stage of perfecting the compression we apply on any given patient and it involves a detailed understanding of the science of compression.
There are a number of compression therapy options available, each suited for a specific condition or anatomic shape. Sometimes the choice is influenced by other factors such as hand strength or available funds. It has become a rather specialized subject and experience in the different modalities is nowadays highly recommended. So…..choose your supplier with care!
Patients today are spoilt for choice. Here are some examples:
Compression Therapy Modalities Available
Circular Knit Compression Arm Sleeves, Gloves & Hosiery
Flat Knit Compression Arm Sleeves & Hosiery
Made to Measure Garments
Pneumatic Compression Pumps & Sleeves
What class of compression does my patient require?
Class A / 8 – 15mmHg
Long Distance Travel
Seated or Standing for Long Periods
Economy Class Syndrome
Class 1 / 15 – 20mmHg
Mild Varicose Veins
Economy Class Syndrome
Pregnancy with Oedema
Class 2 / 20 – 30mmHg
Deep Vein Pathology
Post Wound Healing
Class 3 / 30 – 40mmHg
Complicated Venous Insufficiency
Severe Oedema with Skin Changes
When should stockings be replaced?
Most companies would say every six months. A better way to look at it is to say: ”When it stops doing the job”.
If you had oedema and the stocking is still effective, good for you. If you had pain and the pain is still under control, good for you.
Replacement is very much in the hands of the user though and some users get away with 12-24 months. Others only two months.
Washing compression garments...
Handwash in luke warm water with mild soap. Do not tumble dry.
Do not wash with fabric softener.
Air dry, but not in direct sunlight or with direct heater/fire exposure.
Purchase some powder free latex (nice and sticky) gloves at your local supermarket and use them to fit stockings easier.
Ask your supplier how to use them correctly. It makes a huge difference.
Often patients in need of stockings are arthritic or overweight.
Always insist on special training by your supplier, otherwise you will never wear them.
A little training goes a long way.